What exactly do banking interns do?

I've started working at a boutique bank, and most of the work I do is making powerpoint slides, nothing too hard. I'm just a sophomore, so I know there's probably a ton of stuff that they're not letting me do since I'm not knowledgable enough.

So I'm wondering, what does a junior year BB summer intern do compared to a sophomore year intern?

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Comments (59)

Jan 10, 2017

More powerpoints.

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Jan 10, 2017

but actually...

Jan 10, 2017

mostly research, spreading data on excel and some powerpoint slides. if there isn't much work, we used to give interns old assignments to keep them busy (replicating a financial model, or preparing a deck from an old model).

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Jan 10, 2017

if that is the case, why is banking so hard to get then and why does it pay so well? It seems like the tasks are easy enough for a high schooler to do

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Jan 10, 2017

Question of the Year

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Jan 10, 2017
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Jan 10, 2017

If you cannot create an excel model for your favorite band and value them by the end of the summer, then you will not have gotten the most out of your internship. You can say all of the other stuff you do is easy, hard, boring or whatever, but the initiative is on you to develop this skill and present your findings to the world.

All of the good bankers know how to get the job done on their own and the best ones can anticipate what will come next. Take my advice, start on your model now.

Jan 10, 2017

What about full time analysts?

If they spend all day formatting power points, why are they so heavily sought after by recruiters?

Jan 10, 2017

What do you think grownups do all day? If you want a complicated job, breaking down molecules and studying DNA strands, just go into science. No one is forcing you into finance..

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Jan 10, 2017

Doesn't answer my question.

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Jan 10, 2017

Your question is pretty easy to answer. If you are currently working in a bank, just go over to your analysts' desk or your associate's to find out. Look through your firm's archives and files to find some more interesting work. Ask to look at some completed pitch decks that analysts or associates have worked on. Look at old models. Your question just sounds loaded when you're talking shit about the desk and what recruiters are doing. That way you would actually already know what people 'spend all day doing'. Then you can actually ask a more substantive question.

I'm just getting the vibe that you're not so stoked about the process to your success. You sound like you are just looking for something else. So, maybe you should go and look for it. I don't know your reasons for taking your current career path, but an internship is good for deciding if it's what you really want.

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Jan 10, 2017

Wow, you are completely missing the point of my question.

When I ask "If they spend all day formatting power points, why are they so heavily sought after by recruiters?", it implies that there's probably other stuff they do besides formatting power points all day that makes them desirable, and I am trying to figure out what that is.

It was not meant to be condescending.

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Jan 10, 2017

I think this question has already been answered, and you need to be a little more resourceful. Recruiters like the skills that junior bankers have gained in their early careers.

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Jan 10, 2017

Would probably say models and powerpoints are the essence of what you do as an analyst... imo the aspect that makes bankers attractive to recruiters is that you essentially signal to prospective employers that you are intelligent and hardworking by virtue of being able to work long hours, and by the fact that a highly selective firm hired you in the first place. Don't think banking is rocket science at all, but there is some value in being able to work a twelve hour day and finish whatever shit someone asks you to do correctly and in a timely manner.

For example, for a lot of analysts, PE recruiting starts < 6 months on the desk as a first year. There isn't any insane tangible skill that you're gaining in 20 or so weeks that makes you so much more desirable than candidates with different backgrounds. Also, it really is hard for recruiters to tell exactly how good you are at your banking job - there isn't like a GPA or report card that they have of you when you are being recruited, most of the time its more about your bank prestige and the group you're in.

Just my opinion anyways.

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Jan 11, 2017

I got the impression, from this website, that ibanking was some crazy boot camp for future business leaders. That these bankers learn all these amazing skills that you wouldn't learn else where in finance or business. However, it seems people are having a hard time articulating what exactly those skills are....

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Best Response
Jan 12, 2017

Okay, for the lil' monkey in the building: the hardest part about any of the 'prestigious' jobs that are mentioned on these forums is actually getting them in the first place. Particularly banking, which evolves from a job revolving around PPTs to that of sales (which is entirely relationship driven).

In terms of skills that recruiters look for (and why banking analysts are so sought after), here's a breakdown:

Hard skills
Excel modelling - the ability to crush a financial model that's accurate, comprehensive, and easy to understand in a fast period of time
PowerPoint - the ability to coherently and quickly deliver information
corporate finance - generally through osmosis, you will learn how to structure a deal, run a marketing process, etc. This is VERY valuable for PE

Soft skills
Ability to work long hours - there is no doubt that this is unmatched. IB hours suck and if you can put up with them everything else is a walk in the park
Dealing with bullshit - bank cultures, for better or worse, are very hierarchical and a lot of MDs (and directors, VPs, associates, and so on) are complete dicks. You will learn how to put up with their shit and get stuff done anyways
Working autonomously - this means with limited oversight, you will get stuff done
Attention to detail - you will learn to nitpick over the smallest possible things, even to the point of it affecting your social life

Hope this helps.

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Jan 13, 2017

lil monkey, haha thanks

i guess i was confused because i thought modeling was done mostly by associates

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Jan 11, 2017

90% of your time you'll do excel data crunching, powerpoint & some research. You can also find some exemplary tasks in the "Investment Banking Prep Guide" App in the Appstore.

@baloneymaloney the skills are mostly strategic thinking, structured analysis, Modelling and pitching (Usefull for an aspiring entrepreneur!).

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Jan 12, 2017

You realize that I want to steal that Curious George photo you have, right?

Jan 12, 2017

Hehe. Give this one a shot:

George

Jan 12, 2017

Awesome. Thanks!

Jan 12, 2017

Uh oh, ebola is spreading.

Jan 13, 2017

It's a cancer, WE CANNOT BE STOPPED!

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Jan 13, 2017

We are Ebolamonkey!

Jan 12, 2017

I'm sure it varies by bank... Across size, deal flow, work to be done, etc. For me, I interned at a boutique shop where it was myself, two other interns, and two Managing Partners, that was it. While the summer is notorious for being slow in terms of the relative quantity of deals being originated and/or executed, being on a smaller team working on several projects kept us busy (and yes, in some cases this did include modeling). My responsibilities varied from building out a model of a company to creating PowerPoint presentations for clients to developing a due diligence template for all deal files... but again I was one of 3 summer interns with two senior bankers with only one live deal the majority of the summer and 2 other deals in origination/closing.

Point is: it's going to be different everywhere you go. I'm sure the work is more training-like and hardcore at a BB SA position than it is at small ma-and-pa IB. Not to say that one's better or worse (sorry GS or die) but if you're in a structured internship program, then you'll have far clearer expectations and projects to be working on. If you're part of a random team in a boutique that took you on last minute / doesn't have an internship program, they may assign a wide variety of bitch work to you. Totally depends on where you're working, who you're working for, etc.

Jan 12, 2017

They swallow.

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Jan 12, 2017

Mostly spend your time perfecting some minor graph in a ppt that will never be read by the CEO or cfo or see the light of day.

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Jan 12, 2017

Since most of the work in banking is non-quantitative, why do new hires (especially fresh grads) or interns need to excel in quantitative subjects such as mathematics and statistics, when most of the work only needs PEMDAS? Is it to sift out the weak candidates for the position?

Jan 12, 2017

there is a lot of money at stake in deals, so they have the ability to pay top dollar for analysts. If you are going to pay top dollar, would you not want to fill it with the smartest/best possible candidate? it's a way to filter the "best"

Jan 13, 2017

More Powerpoint (for decks) and excel (for everything else). Let's be honest, as an intern, you won't be given huge responsibilities (you are bound to fuck up somehow)

The main reason they pay well is because of your time. Imagine getting a call from a client at 11pm and he wants to have a meeting the next morning because he's in town. You will have to put together a proper deck for your bosses and probably have to work overnight. You get a high paycheck not only because you're just there to help with decks and excel but because you are ALWAYS available. Even at 3am, if your boss wants something done, you better get out of the bed and make sure it will be on your boss's desk by his deadline.

I know this first hand because I have received emails from associates at around 12am asking for something to be done. Believe me, it happens frequent enough to justify your high paycheck!

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Jan 13, 2017

This is it. I have had scores of friends work and leave IBD at the Associate level because they wanted better work/life balance.

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Jan 13, 2017

Dig that new icon man. :) Looking proper!

Jan 13, 2017

Agreed. This is too awesome. I just need to get a proper job/suit + tie outfit to go with this now and join the ranks.

Jan 13, 2017

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Jan 17, 2017

There's a lot of them leaving at Analyst level as well (first and second years). But when you progress further (beyond VP), you are given more origination work rather than execution work - less number crunching/powerpoint editing and more generating revenue/bringing in deals for the bank. Once you start bringing in business, you tend not to be in the office past midnight. Hell, some MDs leave around 5-6PM to have dinner with their families. That said, you do have to travel a lot (once a week?), so there you go

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Jan 13, 2017

So is it fair to say 50% ppt, 50% modeling?

Jan 17, 2017

Not exactly. It really depends on the shop and what stage you guys are at on the deal. For example, at the initial stages, you will be doing a lot of PPT (pitching) to get the mandate signed. But if you guys already gotten it signed, then you will probably spend most of your time on the models. Thereafter, you will be working hard on the IMs and other marketing materials.

Don't underestimate PPT editing. It gets your creative juices flowing because you need to be able to express your ideas/points in the simplest and clearest way so that the client can understand. You have to constantly think to yourself, "will I understand this slide if I have no knowledge on finance?" You can't just dump 100 lines and expect the client to read everything. They'll probably zone out at line 5 LOL

You have to understand that it's not just the hard skills that make you valuable. Your ability to take work at ungodly hours and deliver it with precision, your hunger/drive, etc, that make you more valuable than many other working professionals

Feb 2, 2017

Probably closer to 70% ppt, 50% modeling, but that depends on group, bank, project and of course your efficiency

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Jan 13, 2017

Question that is tangentially related to OP's question:
Most of the deals coming into my boutique seem to be in the $1-5MM EBITDA range. I have been able to build operating models, contribute to BOMs, CIMs, and work on other deal-related projects. However since the deals are so small, I was wondering if anyone has ideas on how I can best frame them for BB IBD SA interviews. I really would like to avoid my M&A boutique coming across as a business brokerage...

Feb 2, 2017

Also interested in this.

Feb 2, 2017

I got yelled at for saying kaka is better than renaldo!

Feb 2, 2017

First day of my 3rd week today. Thus far I've modeled financial statements and built DCF's, I should get into comparable's and more advanced models on Tuesday hopefully..

Feb 2, 2017
CNB90:

First day of my 3rd week today. Thus far I've modeled financial statements and built DCF's, I should get into comparable's and more advanced models on Tuesday hopefully..

Nigga please.

Feb 2, 2017
Zweihander:
CNB90:

First day of my 3rd week today. Thus far I've modeled financial statements and built DCF's, I should get into comparable's and more advanced models on Tuesday hopefully..

Nigga please.

Your work as an intern gets that exciting when your parents know the chairman ;)

That's not to say that I'm doing what the full time analysts are doing, rather I'm updating model assumptions, building DCF's by using the projections already established by the analyst who is mentoring me and learning how to model financial statements using various assumptions. Overall, the analysts here have more free time seeing as how things in the ME have taken a little longer to properly stabilize, so I've been getting proper attention everyday.

Feb 2, 2017

This is typical for interns. Nobody trusts interns enough to give them real work. If your friends say they're modeling things from scratch they are either a) lying or b) working at a jv bank that doesn't know better. There is a strong chance that you will spend your entire summer only updating comps and market pages, but keep a positive attitude and don't piss anyone off - you'll get an offer and the work gets (slightly) more interesting on a FT basis.

Feb 2, 2017

Also, interns shouldn't be so focused on modeling. Modeling really isn't that difficult - most banks use a plug-and-chug template that requires zero thought- and is only a portion of the job.

Feb 2, 2017

Just sit back relax and absorb everything. Ask tons of questions but make sure they thoughtful and insightful. While updating stuff isn't glamorous its 1. needed and 2. an opportunity to see how presentations made, things are worded and thoughts presented. You are an intern. Do you think you are gonna be doing anything of importance that has any relevance in a transaction. Clients aren't paying your firm for interns to add value they are paying for experience and expertise. Banking isn't hard its just repetition and practice and right now you have none. Its also about building a solid reputation and again you have none. Why would you be staffed on a model if the no one knows you are even capable of updating presentation to perfection.

To use a sports analogy, you are the equivalent of a red shirt freshman that runs practices for the first squad. Your job is valuable but its not glamorous. If you practice hard study the play book you will be ready for game time.

Our generation is too much I want it all and I want it all now. A career is a marathon not a sprint.

Feb 2, 2017

I'd also like the add, everything you described isn't necessarily intern work either...you will be doing that for the next 2 years, granted other stuff will be thrown into the mix but a lot of what an analyst does is updates, revisions and mundane work. It's a very tedious and monotonous job at times. But what jobs aren't.

Feb 2, 2017

What about the hours? Has anyone pulled an all nighter yet? What has been the standard in/out times?

Feb 2, 2017

Prize goes out to CNB90 for the douchiest statement of the day

Feb 2, 2017

Witnessed a 7 am icing.

Feb 2, 2017

i have done PIBs, profiling companies, management discussion books, screening for acquisition targets, and more PIBs. Haven't even worked on a pitchbook yet... nothing finance-y or anything to do with valuation or modeling... I'm starting the first day of my 3rd week tmr...

i feel you man, i wanted to build a model on my first day, but i guess getting the full time offer is more impt, so just service with a smile, and don't make silly errors on profiles and PIBs. If you can't even handle these, they won't trust anything else with you.

Jan 14, 2017

marketing materials for the most part - teasers, pitch books, and CIMs

Feb 2, 2017

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